Archeological findings indicate that Indians inhabited parts of Alabama as early as 6000 B.C. Mound-building Indians began to appear some 2,000 years ago. They were displaced by the ancestors of the Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, and Chickasaws—the principal tribes in Alabama at the time of European settlement in the 18th century.

Important dates in Alabama
1519 Alonso Alvarez de Pineda sailed into Mobile Bay.
1540 Hernando de Soto explored much of what is now Alabama.
1559 Tristan de Luna established several temporary settlements in what is now Alabama.
1702 French Canadians founded Fort Louis on the Mobile River. In 1711, the colony moved to what is now Mobile.
1763 France gave the Alabama region to Britain.
1783 Britain gave the United States much of what is now Alabama. It gave the Mobile region to Spain.
1795 The United States and Spain signed the Treaty of San Lorenzo, setting the southern boundary of the United States at the 31st parallel, across Alabama.
1813 The United States captured Mobile Bay from Spain.
1814 The Creek Indians surrendered nearly half the present state of Alabama to the United States.
1817 The Alabama Territory was created.
1819 Alabama became the 22nd state on Dec. 14.
1861 Alabama seceded from the Union on Jan. 11 and became the Republic of Alabama until Feb. 8, when it joined the Confederacy.
1868 Alabama was readmitted to the Union on June 25.
1880 The state's first blast furnace began operating in Birmingham.
1901 The present state constitution was adopted.
1933 The federal government created the Tennessee Valley Authority.
1940's The Redstone Arsenal at Huntsville became a center of rocket and spacecraft research.
1956 A federal court ordered Montgomery to desegregate its public bus system.
1960 The George C. Marshall Space Flight Center was established in Huntsville.
1965 Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., led a march from Selma to Montgomery to demonstrate the demands of blacks for an end to discrimination in voter registration.
1974 George C. Wallace became the first Alabama governor to be elected to a third term. He won a fourth term in 1982.
1985 Completion of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway linked the Alabama port of Mobile with ports on the Tennessee and Ohio rivers.